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This Monday's verse is found in different forms, in a few of the gospels.
Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's." And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:17My thoughts are below:
My eight-year-old son tried to fire me the other day. You see, he didn't like the way I was reacting to his behavior (or misbehavior, to be more precise), so he figured, it seems, he'd be better off with a different woman in charge.
My joblessness didn't last too long, though. Our conversation went something like this:
Frustrated Son: I want to fire you, Mom!
Me (holding back a giggle): Really? How exactly do you plan to do that?
FS: Um...I dunno.
Me: And who will drive you to school every day? (a particularly pertinent question, since we were pulled over on the side of the road on our way to that very location)
FS: Just kidding!
This whole scene tickled me for a good long time--and then slapped me between the eyes. How often had I tried to "fire" the Lord because I wasn't happy with how He handled a situation I was in the middle of? How often had I acted like He wasn't in charge just so I could do what I wanted to do?
And it's not just God I have this problem with. I "turn off" the preacher's message because I don't want to hear it, much less heed it. I disobey laws that are inconvenient and grumble about "unfairness" when I get caught. I neglect submitting to my husband because I'd rather have things my own way.
This is not solely a modern issue. Take, for example, the Pharisees of Mark 12.
Later they sent some of the Pharisees and Herodians to Jesus to catch him in his words. They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not? Should we pay or shouldn't we?" Luke 12:13-15Of course, they didn't really want to know the answer to this question. It was meant to incite trouble. If Jesus said they should, the Jews would be mad. If Jesus said they shouldn't, the Romans would have been none too pleased with Him.
In a way, this was the Pharisees' declaration of their desire to "fire" their authority, isn't it? They didn't want to pay taxes to Caesar, or to follow the Lord. They wanted to avoid being under anyone's thumb. Their own rules were the only "rule" they planned to follow.
And Jesus knew this. Watch his response.
But Jesus knew their hypocrisy. "Why are you trying to trap me?" he asked. "Bring me a denarius and let me look at it." They brought the coin, and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" "Caesar's," they replied. Then Jesus said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God what is God's."And they were amazed at him. Mark 12:15-17And these men were doing neither. Nor, for that matter, was my son. All of them were seeking a "boss" more to their liking. And neither of them, by the way, got what they wanted: spiritually OR governmentally. (and I can thank the Lord for that!)
Heavenly Father, help us to truly know that there is NO ONE who can love us, rule us, and take care of us better than You. Help us to trust You enough to accept our circumstances without trying to take You off Your throne. And, Lord, help us to honor the government, on whatever level it may be, with our obedience as well. We so want to give You, and "Caesar," what is due. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen
Thanks for reading! Be sure to link up below with your own thoughts on this verse, and read the other folks' contributions as well. I guarantee you will be blessed!